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Pets: Tips For Well- Behaved Dog

May 31st, 2003, 09:20 AM
Pets: Tips For Well- Behaved Dog
Weekend with The News: 30 May 2003, Friday.

1.When it comes to raising and training a dog, an ounce of problem prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure!

Start training your puppy early on because what's learned earliest is often learned quickest and easiest. While it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks, more time and patience will be needed. Moreover, the older the dog, the more bad habits will likely need to be "unlearned".

2.Train your dog gently and humanely, and teach him using positive, motivational methods. Keep obedience sessions short and fun so that the training process is enjoyable for all parties involved.

If training your pooch is drudgery, rev things up a bit, and try a different approach. Incorporate constructive, non-adversarial games such as "Go Find The Toy", "Hide 'n' Seek The Treat", retrieving the ball or frisbee, etc. into your training sessions.

3. Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce. Don't tell your dog to "Lay Down", and then walk away before they do or give them a treat when they "sit" instead. Soon your dog learns that commands are optional.

4.One command should equal one response and one reward. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a "bluff '.

For instance, you ask your dog to "Come" and then repeat it 3 more times, the last time using your deep, stern voice on which they actually come to you. This is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands.

Simply give your dog a single command and gently place or lure your dog into that position, then praise/reward.